Music review: Dinosaur Jr/Spinning Coin

Frontman J Mascis was as taciturn as usual
Frontman J Mascis was as taciturn as usual
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US GRUNGE godfathers Dinosaur Jr have always connected strongly with music fans in Glasgow – they practically invented Teenage Fanclub, while back on their side of the pond their winning mix of aching melody and garage rock bite influenced the nascent Nirvana and Green Day.

Art School, Glasgow ***

Support band Spinning Coin have also been taking notes from the Massachusetts veterans – singer/guitarist Jack Mellin’s contributions contained a shot of feral punk energy, tempered by his co-frontman Sean Armstrong’s more delicate indie pop sensibilities.

Dinosaur Jr are known for their taciturn stage presence – frontman J Mascis appeared largely unmoved by numerous heckles wishing him a happy birthday – and slacker soundtrack associations, but there were moments in this set, such as early single Little Fury Things, where Mascis’s original concept that the band play “ear-bleeding country” seemed a closer fit for their mix of ragged soul tunes and epic – though at times just sprawling – guitar wrangling in the Neil Young style.

Reinforcements on guitar and drums were drafted in for The Wagon, making some additional impact, but the original power trio of Mascis, Trojan tub thumper Murph and the Cousin Itt-like Lou Barlow on bass and contrasting vocals, didn’t require any supplementary heft on the likes of flailing indie disco anthem Freakscene, the nosebleed punk of Training Ground by Mascis and Barlow’s first band, Deep Wound, or the heroic and decidedly non-slacker riffola on which they ended their set.

FIONA SHEPHERD